The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has lobbied the US and European Union to remove sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe which it said were affecting ordinary Zimbabweans.
In a statement to coincide with the second SADC Anti-Sanctions Day held on October 25 under the theme “Resilience, Solidarity and Progress in a Sanctions Environment”, the rights body said the sanctions must be removed unconditionally.
Last year in August, during the SADC Heads of State and Government summit October 25 was set aside as a day for denouncing sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe as they were affecting the whole region.
Harare has insisted that the sanctions were hurting the country`s efforts to revive the economy.
ZHRC reiterated that the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe have unintended consequences as they have contributed to gross human rights violations notwithstanding the fact that they were imposed with the aim of improving the same.
“Our observation and assessment of the reality on the ground is that the tight grip of the declared and undeclared sanctions is being felt by the entire economy. In this regard the ‘targeted’ sanctions have severely worsened our already depressed economy. The effects of the economic meltdown on ordinary people are unprecedented putting further to the test the myth that targeted sanctions are only focused on those targeted,” read the statement.
“The negative effects are largely felt by the vulnerable and marginalised groups especially women, children, youths, elderly and people living with disabilities. Sanctions are seriously impinging on human rights. Children are born and raised in a sanctioned environment and economy. Access to quality social services such as education, health, shelter, clean and portable water are all compromised because of sanctions.”
ZHRC recommended that due to the effect they have on the general populace they be removed forthwith.
“We call for the immediate and unconditional removal of all sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe to pave way for socioeconomic transformation and development. Their removal will also benefit SADC region as a whole,” the statement read.
“ZHRC appeals to the international community to resolve in the first instance to solve differences through constructive engagements rather than the imposition of punitive conditions which have the effect of infringing on the rights of innocent people thereby worsening their well-being.”